hor·​rif·​ic | \ hȯ-ˈri-fik How to pronounce horrific (audio) , hä-\

Definition of horrific

: having the power to horrify a horrific account of the tragedy

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from horrific

horrifically \ hȯ-​ˈri-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce horrifically (audio) , hä-​ \ adverb

Examples of horrific in a Sentence

horrific images of torture that shocked the conscience of the world

Recent Examples on the Web

But what no one could definitively explain was why this horrific violence was happening. Laura Seay, Washington Post, "How rape is weaponized in civil wars," 29 June 2018 Immigrant advocates say most of the families are fleeing horrific violence and turmoil in their home countries and deserve a shot at applying for asylum under U.S. law to remain permanently in this country. Daniel González, azcentral, "Trump administration is separating migrant parents from children. What you need to know," 15 June 2018 Myanmar’s government has dismissed widespread and consistent accounts of horrific violence committed by the country’s military and civilian gangs against the Rohingya. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "Myanmar and U.N. Agree to Aim for Repatriation of Rohingya," 31 May 2018 Many are arriving in the United States planning to seek asylum from horrific violence in Central America, particularly Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Here’s why immigration advocates aren’t asking #WhereAreTheChildren.," 30 May 2018 More than 680,000 have fled the violence into neighboring Bangladesh, bringing stories of summary killings, mass rape and horrific violence against the Rohingya altogether. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Report claims Rohingya militant group massacred nearly 100 Hindus," 22 May 2018 Ariana Grande is no stranger to tragedy, or to bringing people together in the wake of horrific violence to heal. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Ariana Grande Assures the March For Our Lives Crowd That We'll 'Be Alright': Watch," 24 Mar. 2018 The two-time CART champ lost his legs in a horrific 2001 crash. Andrew Daniels, Car and Driver, "Every Mid-Engined Sports Car You Can Buy in 2019," 13 May 2019 The victim of horrific beatings, Wise carries with him trauma that the others acknowledge is on a different level. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "When They See Us," 8 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'horrific.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of horrific

1653, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about horrific

Statistics for horrific

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for horrific

The first known use of horrific was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for horrific



English Language Learners Definition of horrific

: causing horror or shock

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on horrific

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with horrific

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for horrific

Spanish Central: Translation of horrific

Nglish: Translation of horrific for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of horrific for Arabic Speakers

Comments on horrific

What made you want to look up horrific? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!